New ruling about jury trials for misdemeanor domestic battery cases.
The justices unanimously reasoned that while misdemeanor domestic battery cases are misdemeanors, the unique combination of consequences now in place for that offense make it “serious” enough to trigger a fundamental due process right to a jury trial under both the state and federal constitutions. (Most misdemeanors are still “petty,” and bench trials in front of a single judge is deemed adequate.) The final straw in the bundle of punishments pushing domestic battery over the threshold was, ironically, a Republican-sponsored gun control measure from 2015 which made it a felony for a person who has ever been convicted of even misdemeanor domestic battery from possessing a firearm.
If you think this decision only affects lawyers and alleged wife beaters, think again. Here are seven takeaways from this decision that fundamentally changes the legal landscape in Nevada, even more than the dozens of criminal justice reform laws passed in the 2019 legislative session.